Originally Posted by ravenest
The idea of a just society started about 8000 bc .... by the time it developed more fully in Egypt it became deified as the Neter Maat. On the Greek /Egyptian Dendra Zodiac we can see her attributed to the section of Libra and her form continues today in that of Lady Justice. That is a lot of history, meaning, embedding and association there ... much more than a modern persons idea of what Libra or Virgo ... or even Justice is.
Originally Posted by wind
... and Libra in fact is a rather new invention, in the past it was part of the Scorpio (known as Scorpio claws).
Not exactly right there :
Libra as we know it today is a 'new ' invention (and one of my protests about modern astrology ... I mean, one just has to LOOK at Scorpio to see the obviousness of it). I would not say it is , in fact, a new invention.
It isnt that Libra never existed and it was part of Scorpio, it was that 'Libra' was smaller, known by other names (as many asterisms were ... most of our star names are still in Arabic) ... mostly the top part of the beam between Zubenelgenubi and Zubenelschemali (Libra alpha and beta) , took over ancient signs from SOME cultures (that was not in Scorpio, but in 'Libra', like the' altar' - see below) .... and after some to and fro between pans and claws, it grew to assume part of Scorpio, and hence, help to put the 'constellations' out of an astrological balance of 12 equal segments. In modern astronomical maps Libra takes up about 40 days of the Suns path and Scorpio about 12 or 15 (going off memory here).
"The sacred books of India mention it as Tula, the Tamil Tulam or Tolam, a Balance; and on the zodiac of that country it is a man bending on one knee and holding a pair of scales; but Varaha Mihira gave it as Juga or Juka, from Zugon, and so a reflex of Greek astronomy, which we know came into India early in our era; but he also called it Fire, perhaps a recollection of its early Altar form, mentioned further on.
"In China it was Show Sing, the Star of Longevity, but later, copying our figure, it was Tien Ching, the Celestial Balance; and that country had a law for the annual regulation of weights supposed to have been enacted with some reference to this sign. In the early solar zodiac it was the Crocodile, or Dragon, the national emblem.
NOTE : " Manetho and Achilles Tatios said that Libra originated in Egypt; it plainly appears on the Denderah planisphere and elsewhere simply as a Scale-beam, a symbol of the Nilometer. Kircher gave its Coptic-Egyptian title as Lambadia, Statio Propitiationis.
"The Hebrews are said to have known it as Moznayim, a Scale-beam, Riccioli's Miznaim, inscribing it, some thought, on the banners of Asher, although others claimed Sagittarius for this tribe, asserting that Libra was unknown to the Jews and that its place was indicated by their letter Tau, while still others claimed Virgo for Asher, and Sagittarius for Joseph.
"The Syrians called it Masa’tha, which Riccioli gave as Masathre; and the Persians, Terazu or Tarazuk, all signifying Libra; the Persian sphere showing a human figure lifting the Scales in one hand and grasping a lamb in the other, this being the usual form of a weight for a balance in the early East.
"Arabian astronomers, following Ptolemy, knew these stars as Al Zubana, the Claws, or, in the dual, Al Zubanatain, degenerating in Western use to the Azubene of the 1515 Almagest; but later on, when influenced by Rome, they became Al Kiffatan, the Trays of the Balance, and Al Mizan, the Scale-beam, Bayer attributing the latter to the Hebrews. This appeared in the Alfonsine Tables and elsewhere as Almisan, Almizen, Mizin; Schickard writing it Midsanon. Kircher, however, said that Wazn, Weight, is the word that should be used instead of Zubana; Riccioli adopting this in his Vazneschemali and Vazneganubi, or Vaznegenubi, respectively applied to the Northern and Southern Scale as well as to their lucidae.
"Libra is stamped on the coins of Palmyra, as also on those of Pythodoris, queen of Pontus.
"While it seems impossible to trace with any certainty the date of formation of our present figure and its place of origin, yet there was probably some figure here earlier than the Claws, and formed in Chaldaea in more shapes than one; indeed, Ptolemy asserted that it was from that country, while Ideler and modern critics say the same.
"Brown thinks that its present symbol, , generally considered a representation of the beam of the Balance, shows the top of the archaic Euphratean Altar, located in the zodiac next preceding Scorpio [Ara, the altar is below Scorpio], and figured on gems, tablets, and boundary stones, alone or in a pair. Miss Clerke recalls the association of the 7th month, Tashritu, with this 7th sign and with the Holy Mound, Tul Ku, designating the biblical Tower of Babel, surmounted by an altar, — the stars in this constellation, alpha, mu, xi, delta, beta, chi, zeta, and nu, well showing a circular altar. Sometimes this Euphratean figure was varied to that of a Censer, and frequently to a Lamp; Strassmaier confirming this by his translation of an inscription as die Lampe als Nuru, the Solar Lamp, synonymous with Bir, the Light, also found for the sky figure. In this connection it will be remembered that another of the names for our Ara, a reduplication of the zodiacal Altar, was Pharus, or Pharos, the Great Lamp, or Lighthouse, of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the world. This Lamp also has been found shown on boundary stones as held in the Scorpion's claws, and we see the same idea even as late as the Farnese globe and the Hyginus of 1488, where the Scales have taken the place of the Lamp. When the Altar, Censer, and Lamp were in the course of time forgotten, or removed to the South, the Claws were left behind, and perhaps extended, till they in turn were replaced by Libra. Miss Clerke additionally writes:
"The 8th sign is frequently doubled, and it is difficult to avoid seeing in the pair of zodiacal scorpions, carved on Assyrian cylinders, the prototype of the Greek Scorpion and Claws. Both Libra and the sign it eventually superseded thus owned a Chaldaean birthplace.
"Brown also says that the Euphratean Sugi, the Chariot Yoke, which he identifies with alpha and beta of this constellation, remind us by sound and signification of the Zugon and Jugum of Greece and Rome respectively, and that astrology adds evidence in favor of a Chaldaean origin, for it has always claimed Libra — the Northern Scale at least — as a fruitful sign, taking this from the very foundations of astrology in the Chaldaean belief that "when the Sugi stars were clear the crops were good." In modern astrology, however, the reverse of this held in the case of the Southern Scale.
[Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Richard H. Allen, 1889.]